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Family Day Boosts Spirits

24 September 2004

Family Day Boosts Spirits, Educates And Gets People Involved In Their Community

The Papatoetoe Community Board's Youth and Family Day, on Saturday 18th September, might have seemed like all fun and games but some very worthwhile results were achieved.

Organised largely by young people from the Papatoetoe Youth Caucus the event was opened by Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis and also supported by the City Manager, Colin Dale and local MP Ross Robertson in attendance were local Councillors and Community Board members, including Gary Troup Chairperson of the Papatoetoe Community Board, and leaders of various ethnic groups joined in the festivities with the local residents. There was a strong contingency of the Indian and Cambodian community and churches in Papatoetoe were well represented.

Papatoetoe Community Advisor, Bernadette Pereira, says, "The real reason behind these type of events is to get people together and involved and taking an active interest in their communities. It's also a good excuse to let your hair down! This is the event's fourth anniversary and I can truly say we achieved on a number of levels. A number of people joined the library which is important in this ward, as not enough people make use of this valuable free community resource which is available for everyone to enjoy.

"South Auckland Health had a display promoting vaccination for meningococcal disease. It was satisfying to see a large number of the residents talked to the organisation's representatives on preventative measures for meningococcal disease including encouraging vaccination - and taking away brochures. I know it is still a struggle to get some of the community to take this as seriously as they should and this was an excellent opportunity to educate more people.

"Like wise the Foetal Alcohol Network Group has an important message to impart and this was the perfect opportunity in this relaxed environment to talk to women and give out information on the dangers of drinking during pregnancy.

"On another level the day was an excellent opportunity for people to get together, network, make new friends and mix with the diversity of cultures that make up our community. As well people got the opportunity to learn about and get involved in local community groups in their spare time either as participants or volunteers. These groups included: The Papatoetoe Youth Caucus; the Papatoetoe Athletic Association; English for Speakers of Other Languages, (ESOL); Wananga O Aotearoa; Kiwi Ora; and the National Council of Women, Manukau Branch.

"The day was such a success a real cultural feast with Pasifika, kapa haka and church groups performing throughout the day for the receptive audience. We hope to do it all again next year."


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